City Council Meeting: June 23, 2009

Agenda Item: 1-B

To:                   Mayor and City Council

From:              Marsha Jones Moutrie, City Attorney

Subject:          Awarding Bid to Publish City’s Legal Notices

 

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council award a bid to the Santa Monica Daily Press to publish the City’s legal notices for fiscal year 2009-10, pursuant to the requirements of Section 609 of the City Charter.

 

Executive Summary

State and local law require that legal notices, primarily relating to public bidding and land use matters, be published in a newspaper of general circulation.  Santa Monica City Charter Section 609 sets forth the procedures for annual selection of an official newspaper for publication of legal notices.  In accordance with Charter Section 609, the City published a notice inviting bids to publish the City’s legal notices during FY 09/10 and selected the Santa Monica Daily Press.  Funds will be available in General Fund Account No. 01211.522520, Records & Election Services.

 

Background

The Santa Monica Municipal Code and State law require that legal notices, primarily items relating to public bidding and land use matters, be published in a newspaper of general circulation published in the City (SMMC Sec. 9.04.20.22.050) or, if there is none, in a paper of general circulation published nearest to the City (Government Code Sec. 6042).  Under State law, a paper qualifies for adjudication by either 1) being printed in the City for one year or 2) being published in the City for three years and having a principal office of publication in the City.

 

Staff published a notice inviting bids and selected an official newspaper based on the following criteria:

 

  • Proof of adjudication in the City of Santa Monica
  • Amount of bid (ad rate, which cannot exceed customary rates)
  • Circulation (including copies per issue, documented readership)
  • Delivery methods (news racks, home delivery, on-line, other)
  • Publication schedule (weekly, daily)
  • Percentage of local news carried
  • Fiscal Integrity
  • Reputation of publication

 

The notice seeking bids was sent to a list of local publications on May 18, 2009; and published in the Santa Monica Daily Press, the City’s current newspaper of record, three times between May 18 and May 26, 2009, with bids due May 29, 2009.  The City received three bids for legal advertising services from the Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Mirror and the Santa Monica Observer.

 

Discussion

The Santa Monica Daily Press is being recommended for selection based on the criteria outlined in the notice inviting bids.  A summary of the selected vendor’s proposal appears below:

 

Publication

Rate

Circulation

Delivery Methods

Publication Schedule

% of Local News

Daily Press

$12.75/col. inch (no min.)

19,000 daily  print audited & 3,000 online

750 box, rack and drop locations; online & paid subscriptions

6 issues weekly, Mon – Fri and weekend edition

75%

 

Staff is recommending the Santa Monica Daily Press for selection because it meets or exceeds all of the criteria outlined in the request for bids.  The Daily Press, an adjudicated newspaper of general circulation since 2005, has a daily audited circulation of 19,000 (114,000 weekly).  The Daily Press publishes six papers each week, offering the City excellent exposure and flexibility in its legal advertising.  On average, the Daily Press publishes over 50 original local news stories per week and devotes a minimum of 75% of the newspaper to local news, opinion and other commentary.  In addition, the Daily Press has a good reputation as a paper of record in the City of Santa Monica and has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with City staff, offering a dedicated employee to service the City’s account.  The $12.75 per column inch rate offered by the Daily Press is approximately 39% lower than the its regular open rate and represents the best value of the bids received.

 

While the City Charter requires the selection of a single adjudicated newspaper for the purpose of publishing legal notices, it should be noted that display advertising to inform residents of City programs and services can and will continue to be placed in other local newspapers, both print and on-line, within approved budget allocations.  Also, certain legal noticing, particularly Purchasing Officer bid notices that require dissemination beyond Santa Monica’s borders, will continue to be published in the Los Angeles Times or other regional papers in addition to the Santa Monica Daily Press.

 

Finance/Budget Impact

The City spent has spent $56,904 through May of FY 08/09 to publish legal notices in the Santa Monica Daily Press (4,463.06 column inches).   Based on the probable purchase of a similar number of column inches – between 4,500 and 5,000 – the City can expect to spend approximately $57,375 – $63,750 in FY 09/10.  Legal advertising is budgeted in General Fund Account No. 01211.522520, Records & Election Services.

 

Prepared by: Joseph Lawrence, Assistant City Attorney

 

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

Marsha Jones Moutrie

City Attorney

 

P. Lamont Ewell

City Manager